Anni Virta is a name most of you have not yet come across but I doubt it will be very long before you do again. It’s a name I’m used to hearing as this young and extremely talented lady also happens to be my lovely step-sister. Since Anni and I met, back when I was seven and she was six, in Disneyland Florida (yes our parents went all out to ensure us kids would ‘bond’) I can hardly recall a childhood memory when my little sister did not have a colouring pencil of some sort in her hand. Art is undoubtedly part of Anni’s genetic makeup and this was always reflected in the girl’s effortless scribbles that were comparable to a Picasso, Rembrandt or Monet, well, in my humble opinion anyway.
It came as no surprise then that Anni followed her natural calling and began to study art as a career choice. She is currently finishing another course in Graphic Design in Helsinki where she lives and paints! What I admire about her work is that she has taken her art outside of gallery walls and out into the real world whether it be in interior decorating, graphic design, hand-made crafts or photography. This Spring marks the end of Anni’s classroom days and the rise of her professional career where she plans start her own business as a decorative painter alongside freelancing in illustration, branding and other artwork.
The themes portrayed in her work differ, however, there is an undercurrent of dark and somber themes that run predominately throughout. I guess in many ways as with most artists, her work is an outlet that reveal the many facades of her quirky personality. One of my favourite compositions from her (that may reveal her softer side) is one that she drew whilst we were in the midst of renovating our new family home. Anni came over from Finland to help with the decorating and was also assigned the task to ‘do something special’ with a blank wall at the entrance of our hallway. By the time I came home from work that day she had already sketched it out and stenciled it on the wall.
When I question any visitors coming to our home about what they see in the mural many say one of two things either a man and woman embracing or what looks like a biological heart. That’s the beauty of Anni’s work, within a day she managed to create something that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also has other dimensions that lend themselves favourably to each other. To the left you will notice the word ‘home’ amongst two others. The other two words are the equivalents in Portuguese and Finnish, the cultures inside our home. I’m not sure what Anni intended to call her mural and without meaning to sound corny I think ‘Home is Where the Heart is’ would be fitting.
What’s most endearing about Anni is that she has no idea how talented she is and is consequently very modest of her work. An example of this is when she recently entered her friend into an art scheme for Creative Generation (a company focusing on promoting and showcasing young artists & their work) and was shocked to find that the judges were actually very keen to see her portfolio also. It goes without saying that she was selected as well as her friend to participate in the project.
One of the main reasons I choose to feature Anni’s work was the same reason I chose to start this blog, to showcase new talent and provide a platform to exhibit it. So, if you’ve liked what you’ve seen then please do leave Anni a comment. Alternatively, you can contact her on the information provided on her fantastic business card! Or, if you’re just curious to see some more of her portfolio you can do so here: http://anilyart.webs.com